Preface - I was unable to watch this until Saturday thanks to a minor basketball game. Seriously, a SLU basketball game against a college I had never heard of. We're not even talking NCAA here. Thanks CW! But I do not come to complain because I avoided all threads involving this episode. So this recap is completely SpoilerTV commentator-free. I don't know what others are thinking but I'm guessing the fan base is split. Here's how I saw it.
Previously - Madison was a werewolf (many cry at how it ended - not me), Dean shot a werewolf (whatever), Sam has no soul, Alphas exist, Crowley wants them and he's withholding Sam's soul until he gets another one.
In Buffalo, NY someone was high when they named their establishment the Honey Wagon Bar. I'm sorry proprietor but I can't take your bar seriously with a name like that. It sounds like an Old West saloon/whorehouse, which is what the sign is going for. A white-haired man whom Dean would call a corporate douche looks completely out-of-place, as he talks to the baby/dogsitter about if his kid/puppy made "peepee and poopoo". This guy revolts me so I'm fine when he becomes the latest in blood-drenched window décor.
We move on to Fat Mack's Bar-B-Q Rib Shack (anyone else think that place names are the new motel furnishings for SPN?), where Dean is talking to Bobby about finding a non-Crowley way to fix RoboSam. Dean's not going to..hey, it's Crowley. Aww, he sends kisses to Bobby and I briefly flashback to Bobby's original reaction. Crowley has a lead on an Alpha but Dean protests. Crowley wonders why they'd stop working for him now, but RoboSam dissents that they didn't know. "Like that makes a difference to you. You'd sell your brother for a dollar right now if you really needed a soda." Bwaaahhh! I love Crowley! Bringing the funny one painfully, essentially true statement at a time. Great reactions all around. Dean still protests, "I've done some shady stuff in my time, but I am not doing this." Crowley begs to differ and yes he has the mojo to torture RoboSam, turning his finger into a cigarette lighter. Crowley would be handy at college parties. "You need to stop thinking of this as some kind of deal. This is a hostage situation, you arrogant little thug. I own your brother. Do you understand me?" Dean loses 10 quid to Crowley as they head to Buffalo likes he planned. Crowley's incentive - "You bag me a live Alpha and I'll give you Little Sammy's soul back with a cherry on top." He's building a Sammy sundae and somewhere a fan faints from the thought.
The "Things That Confuse Me" list starts early tonight. If Crowley is so powerful and has thousands of hell minions under his control, why would he involve the Winchesters? I smell withheld info and I wonder where it leads. Only an idiot demon would voluntarily let the Winchesters in on their plan unless it wouldn't work without them. Like him or not (and I do), Crowley is NOT an idiot. Out on the road, Dean is disgusted but RoboSam knows Crowley's got them over a barrel and pursues the case. Dean needs "a minute to adjust" to Crowley's employ and Sam 5.0. RoboSam: "Dean, I'm still me. Same melon, same memories…Look, I-I know you don't trust me and I can't take back what I did. But I'm going to prove it to you. I'm still your brother." Oh how I wish that were true, but I don't trust you RoboSam.
Out on the docks, the brothers pose as Agents Holt and Wilson. Oooh, RoboSam pulls a first season Dean and insults the police. Next, Dean downs the snark juice and I feel sorry for Average Cop guy. Nothing happens so we move on to a sleeping Dean. Ok, camera guy, we get it. You luuve Dean. First the eyes, then the lips; now we check out Dean's butt and I flash back to season 1's Phantom Traveler. Perhaps, the big twist is this is just alternate universe-season 1 and Sam's still in the pit. Cameraguy, if you pan Dean's feet next week, I suggest an intervention. RoboSam has been up all night because he doesn't sleep. I'm with Dean. "That's not creepy at all." Busy Bee Sam has been playing "Connect-the-Victims", but I don't foresee a Best-Selling Christmas Gift title in its future. Still, it's useful and they head to Cal the Lush's house after RoboCop let's Dean get dressed. Girlfriend of Lush let's them in with way too few questions, and I wonder if this is normal in her life. Thankfully, Lush won't be around for long as he has next victim tattooed on his beer label. RoboSam's supersniffer detects Eau de Vodka and lays it out for Lush, confronting him on the liar dance. RoboSam wants to "bag him now" but Dean says, "No, we make sure." "Really?" "Before we hand him over to a lifetime of demon rape? - yeah, really."
Lush surveillance contains all things scuzzy and artery-clogging and Dean's "getting cirrhosis just watching this." Dean, that's the Miller calling the Bud foamy. These last few episodes I've been getting cirrhosis watching you. Perhaps you should watch your liver first, you lush. They call it a night at dawn, which makes Lush a dead man. Apparently Lucky is NOT man's best friend. Blood décor is the new thing for windows, trucks, and naked guys who are sometimes dogs. Hello, skinwalker. Dogboy completely creeps me out by watching Lush's girlfriend sleep, tongue bathing her, and watching her shower. I am never getting a dog. They are as creepy as season 2 clowns now. Oh and Droid, your snowman commercial creeps me out too.
Back at Crime Central, RoboSam wants to know if Dean can hand Mandy (Lush's former girlfriend) over to Crowley. Dean says yes; his face says conflicted. Mandy and Lucky cheer up Mandy's sick kid. Mandy finds blood on Lucky and I think Lucky needs to be more careful. Apparently the local police are negligent, so Dean and RoboSam break the news of Lush's death to her. RoboSam is cold but Dean wants to question the son. Still, RoboSam thinks Mandy is lying because Madison "wolfed out" on him. He wants to do surveillance on Mandy while Dean checks the crime scene. Dean doesn't like this plan but RoboSam says "Trust me" and Dean reluctantly does so.
RoboSam is hanging out in a playground at night watching Mandy's house. What kind of neighbors does she have? If a Gigantor robotman was loitering around my house, four different neighbors would have already called the police and me by the time he could set his bag down. When this is over, Mandy needs to start a neighborhood watch! RoboSam watches the window in time to see Lucky turn into Creepy. I wonder where Creepy stores his clothes when he is in dog form. It's got to be a good hiding place because I would flip out if I found strange men's clothes under the couch. Creepy's super sniffer detects RoboSam but he hides so he can see Creepy meet with another in his pack. Unfortunately he can't hide forever and the chase is on. Even RoboSam can't outrun a dog, but Lucky runs into a van and its owner takes him to the vet. RoboSam: "Hey mister wait….that's my dog." I like RoboSam's humor even when he doesn't mean it to be funny.
Back at the Motel of Woe, Dean contemplates calling Lisa. Please do Dean. She's good for you and I miss her. Unfortunately, we only get wooby face and a RoboSam call. Dean, wouldn't it have been prudent to meet up with your brother once you didn't find anything? Especially when you don't trust him with Mandy? RoboSam exposits skinwalkers for the rest of us by filling Dean in on Bobby's information. Similar to werewolves ("They chow hearts like snausages.") but in friendlier shape. "As in, the family dog seriously needs a neuter." BWAH! I'm loving me some RoboSam. Dean and RoboSam visit the pound where Lucky can go the easy way, with clothes, or the hard way, with a seriously wicked looking collar/chain. "What? Soul or not that's funny!" I agree ComicSam. Apparently Lucky went the easy way because he is wearing clothes in the interrogation. Thank you for that. RoboSam is again ice cold. "Do you like to play with your food?" Lucky tells RoboSam to go to hell but he's "already been. Didn’t agree with(him)." I don't know about that. RoboSam is a vast improvement over Demon Addict Sam. RoboSam wants to torture Lucky but Dean sympathizes, "I get it." I really don't like where this is going. "You killed every threat that came near them. You care about them in your own wackadoodle kind of way." I like Dean; he says wackadoodle and kibitzing. Dean wants to know who Lucky's companion is but Lucky isn't talking. "If you don't, then you are going to put the girl and the little boy in danger. And sooner or later all this crap is going to come for them." Lucky feels guilty and spills. Someone recruited 30 of them into their pack. Lucky was homeless when they approached him with the promise of superpowers. Dean: "Sniffing people's butts. Yeah, that's a real step up." Lucky: "It was for me." Man, everyone's throwing bits of humor in tonight. What?!? A monster terrorist sleeper cell. Wow! That's a pretty good analogy and I am even more invested in this season's mytharc. Way to go Sera and crew! Unfortunately the pack leader is no Alpha but there are sleeper cells all around the country. Again, I am never getting a dog. Dean tries to recruit Lucky to hunt down the Alpha but RoboSam's not helping. Dean: "Listen to me. What are you going to do to that family, really? You going to put your jaws around that little boy's throat; clamp down. Listen to him cry for his mom. Cuz I'm going to guess that these are the only people who in your pathetic life have ever shown you any kindness. So it's either that or you can help us stop it." Um, IntenseDean with the kinder, somewhat gentler voice, someone would have to have a heart of ice not to follow what you say here. Lucky agrees.
We interrupt this program with Deep Concerns by Dahne. Perhaps I'm reading too much into this but Dean appears to be empathizing a little excessively with Lucky. Brunette Mandy and her son remind me too much of Lisa and Ben. Everything Dean says to Lucky is subtext for his own messed up relationship with Lisa, and I'm not sure I like Dean comparing himself to a stalker puppy with loneliness issues. I understand that Dean is having Sam issues and that losing Lisa is hard, but it's not like he's abandoned without anyone to care about him. It's also not like he went to Lisa to harm her and lie about his life. Please no downward emotional Dean spiral this year. End of soap box.
Under an overpass, RoboSam questions the plan because skinwalkers have great sniffers. Dean suggests sniper rifle and I suddenly get really excited. I love SniperDean. I really want a Burn Notice/Supernatural crossover so SniperDean and SniperFiona can kick butt together. RoboSam doesn't like the plan because "Crowley won't be too happy about that" but Dean's focused on keeping 150 people skinwalker-free. Dean has had it with RoboSam. "Truth is, I don't know what you are because you're not Sam. I mean it's your gigantor body and maybe your brain, but it's not you. So just stop pretending. Do us both a favor." I wholeheartedly agree, Dean. The music of sniper doom goes into overdrive and then just stops. Hmm, that was weird. On a rooftop, RoboSam tells Dean he would betray them if he was Lucky, but Dean has faith in family bonds. Sam would still double cross them. No subtext here. "Thanks Dexter. That's reassuring." Dean can't get a shot since El Jefe has Mandy and kid. RoboSam suggests plan B and I am sad there will be no sniping.
The pack surrounds Lucky and Mandy is confused. I guess jumping to the conclusion that your pet is a stalker man is hard for the uninitiated. As for me, I frequently expect the bizarre these days. Thanks Supernatural! El Jefe is ticked that Lucky has been killing people so he wants Lucky to turn Mandy and kid in front of them. RoboSam goes Tomb Raider on the pack and is AWESOME! Hey, it's SniperDean! Love, love, love this scene. The one-handed shooting rocks! Lucky hides Mandy and son in an office and then gets shot protecting them. He's about to die when Dean offs the second-in-command. RoboSam goes to shoot Lucky but he runs off. Mandy is understandably confused that her pet became a man.
Sad violins play as Lucky visits Mandy to say how much he appreciated being part of the family. "I know what I am. It's just that no one has ever been so nice to me before. So thank you." Mandy doesn't react well and Lucky takes his sad puppy dog eyes out on the road. Again, I hate the connotation here. This is not Dean and Lisa's story! You hear me writers! She will come back.
Out at the park, Dean's leery of dogs. I told you one day that big-bowed yappy dog would be a threat. I didn't fall for those innocent puppies before. You were right to be afraid Dean. Dean exposits about sleeper dog cells and RoboSam tells Dean he was right. Then he lays it all on the line. He's not Sam. "All that blah, blah, blah about being the old me? Crap. Like Lisa and Ben, right. I've been acting like I care about them but I don't. I couldn't care less." Whoa, is Veritas back in the picture? That's blunt. "You wanted the real me. This is it. I don't care about them. I don't even really care about you, except that I need your help and you're clearly not going to stick around for much longer unless I give it to you straight, so…I've done a lot worse than you know. I've killed innocent people in the line of duty. But I'm pretty sure it's not something the old me could have done." Fantastic job, Jared! This was so matter-of-fact, so deadpan he could have been reading the phone book. You can literally feel how this conversation is a boring but necessary chore for him, like doing laundry. "Sam get to the punch line." "Look I don't know if how I am is better or worse. It's different. You get the job done and nothing really hurts. It's not the worst thing, but I've been thinking. I was that other Sam for a long time and it was, it was kind of harder, but there are also things about it I remember that I…Let's just say I think I should probably go back to being him." You think, RoboSam? Maybe the non-murdering version would be preferable. Dean, after swallowing his shock (Fantastic job, Jensen!), thinks "we do what we got to do. Then we get my brother back." And hope springs eternal again. They may not be brothers right now, but they will work together until they are. Fabulous! I cannot wait for the ride.
Now, I'm sure others will disagree, but I LOVE RoboSam. He's funny, he's blunt, and he definitely has action down. In my opinion, he beats Self-righteous Sam, Blood-Drinking Sam, Addict Sam, and Constantly Atoning Sam. Dare I say it, I like him better than Grieving/Vengeful Sam and Super Special Sammy. RoboSam is a delightful change of pace and is giving Jared Padalecki a whole lot to work with. I adore how he just lays it on the line and has no idea how that effects the people around him. I hope RoboSam stays around for a couple of months because he's going to throw everyone for a loop. Plus, after RoboSam, my guess is we get Guilty Sam and he's a whole lot less fun.
Next week - Tinkerbell comes out to play. Oh goody!
Screencaps by rawr_caps. Others can be found here. My blog is here.